Elegance at The Dapper Day x LACMA Swingin’ Soirée 2019

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Despite a long construction ahead, LACMA opened it’s doors to the well dressed community of LA for their Dapper Day evening.

Obviously the squad had to show up and do our thang.

This blog is a lot of things. Sometimes it’s trunk shows recaps.  Other times it’s lengthy essays about things like photography or the how fantastic a brown checked jacket is.  But at certain times, about three times a year, it’s about Dapper Day! If you don’t already know, they’re an organization started by Justin Jorgensen that invites people to “step out in style” at different events. You probably know them best for the one at Disneyland (and it’s accompanying expo), but they’ve made great headway into other happenings.

One that I always look forward to is their partnership with LACMA, which is one of my favorite museums in LA for it’s beautiful architecture, diverse collection of art, and expansive grounds.  They used to do events based on a new exhibition, but as they’re going under heavy construction, they decided to do something different: a Swingin’ Soirée! Now you could enjoy extended gallery hours amongst well dressed people and great music.

After  four years of Dapper Day x LACMA events, I will say that the Soirée is my favorite event. It’s a lot more fun and more fashion centric as you had to RSVP before hand (it’s free though, and they actually reached full capacity).  Obviously it isn’t Pitti Uomo, but that’s what makes it more fun: just a bunch of local people getting the chance to put on something nice and have some fun with art.

Obviously I was super excited to go to this event as soon as it was announced.  I made sure to tell all my friends to sign up for the free RSVP ticket, as I was certain they were going to run out.  They all saw how cool the last one was and wanted to join in, which made me happy (and they’re not all menswear people).  It was a bit of a logistical nightmare to get everyone coordinated (as the Dapper Day invitees had a separate line), but the LACMA staff allowed all my friends to enter in at the same time with me, which was heavily appreciated! As a result, we didn’t have to get separated and we all were allowed to get  a drink (I actually drank champagne!) and explore the galleries.

It was probably the biggest event I’ve been to yet, as the two BCAM and Resnick pavillion were filled with stylish patrons taking pictures and enjoying the night.  I myself was a bit busy, running between different groups of friends as it had been a while since I’d seen a few of them.  You might even recognize a few familiar faces in the snapshots I’ll share below.

But first, our attire!
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Because it was an evening event, I decided on being totally extra and wear black tie.  A full tuxedo felt a bit try hard, so I went the separates route and wore my 1950’s cream shawl collar DB dinner jacket.  It’s has a silky feel and with it’s removed shoulder pads, it’s just so easy to wear! Honestly, I’ve wanted to wear this out to a proper event (and get it photographed) after I wore this same ensemble for a friend’s wedding.  I did see a few other people wear tuxedos (and some in tails) during the Soirée, so having the contrasting jacket was a great way to stand out.  Underneath was just a ratty 1950’s tux shirt and the trousers from my 1930’s tuxedo (which should make a come back at some point).

The beret was a fun choice meant to make the whole look just a bit more slouchy. It might be considered irreverent, but that’s what Dapper Day is about; it’s not liking I’m attending some lawyer association function.  Cream socks are also a “sacrilegious” choice, but done intentionally to tie in the jacket.

Overall, its a “creative Black Tie” outfit that fit in with the Dapper Day x LACMA festivities.  It had been such a long time since I last wore evening wear, so I was incredibnly happy for this chance.

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Obviously not everyone there was required to be in black tie or evening wear! But that still left room for fun rakish takes on classic menswear.  MJ’s ensemble is a navy + white ensemble with some directions inspired by the work of P. Johnson who often go for tonal looks and tied sweaters.  It’s something a bit different for MJ, as he defaults to Drake’s or workwear inspired looks when we go out; this Soirée gave him the perfect excuse to get a bit dandy.

It’s hard to see, but under the white cable knit and wool-silk-linen jacket, he has one of my denim spearpoint shirts and accompanying collar bars. I couldn’t be any prouder, as MJ really does look great and certainly sharp for this event.

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Spencer had no desire for evening wear or even being super-sartorial, but that didn’t stop him from looking damn cool.  Instead of elegance, he opts for something I tend to wear for work or everyday attire for that matter: ivy-separates! A freshly picked vintage Barbour (for $60 at the flea market no less) keeps him warm, as it’s worn over a great chocolate brown corduroy sack jacket, red foulard, sweater vest, and khaki chinos. Yellow socks give it a fun fall spin as they contrast against dark burgundy deberies that Spence desperately wishes were shell cordovan.

If you look closely in the other pictures, you’ll see that Spencer does add a bit of charm by pinning his chambray shirt with a collar bar.

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Thankfully I wasn’t the only one in our group in evening wear.  Hector makes the long drive up from Irvine to join us, as he faithfully does at each Dapper Day event.  He originally decided against black tie, but he decided fuck it, which resulted in one of my favorite looks from him this far.

As I’ve discussed in the podcast, wearing an odd jacket is a great way to “casualize” black tie, which is traditionally one of the most formal rungs of menswear you can wear.  Despite his jacket being black, the velvet cloth provides some contrast to differentiate it from the normal matching tux jacket. Though it is more casual, you’ll see that the elegant embroidered closure is the ultimate touch.

Hector pushes the envelope more through a skull-and-crossbones motif bowtie (instead of a satin one) and wears a black beanie, the latter to combat the refreshingly cold LA weather.  Take notes, if you guys ever want to do a fun spin on black tie!

Snapshots

 

 

 

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Teaching my new friend Adam all about #pocketfisting.

 

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Got to meet Brooks (left) who works for Suit Supply in Seattle!

 

 

 

 

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We actually drank alcohol for once!  The effect and Asian Glow was immediate.

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Super cool tattoo, fit for classic menswear.

 

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Marshall, the go-to man for DJing elegant events!

 

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Love the spades of Japanese-Americana styling here, with the unstructured seersucker, plaid shirt, and the bandana.

 

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Always love seeing Metropolis II.

 

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The suit fits perfectly on Jay!

 

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The boys.

 

 

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Joker (2019)

 

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The always beautiful David.

 

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Chatting with Justin, founder of Dapper Day, who wore a delightfully loud dinner jacket.

 

 

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Snapped by Stephenie, master Disney and event photographer!

 

 

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Barber extraordinaire and period dresser, Adam.

 

 

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Liz, looking stunning.

 

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Matching leopard coats!

 

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I played the roll of her “husband” for an IG ad!

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Can’t be complete without Felicia, who is willing to laugh with me about the horrendous Rise of Skywalker.

 

 

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Felicia’s friend Millie in red.

 

 

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The Queen, Linda, with her husband in Kevin white tie.

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Love the lighting here.

 

 

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The best girls, Maggie and Sharyl.  Or Shaggy, collectively.

 

 

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Dinner at Canter’s Deli was a must!

 

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Now I’ve spent nearly all of my Sunday editing all of these pictures and doing this write up! I hope you’ve enjoyed all the content and have seen what Dapper Day can offer: a bunch of well dressed fun with great people.  It’s always a fun event and I look forward to each and every one of their happenings.

Keep an eye out for the next event! For Dapper Day, I think it’s most likely going to be the Spring Outing/Expo at Disneyland.  As for regular menswear events, Inspiration is coming up soon! Keep an eye out on my IG and I’ll make sure you’re updated.

Always a pleasure,

@EthanMWong

2 comments

  1. shem · January 25

    hi ethan do you know where spencer got his chinos from?

    Like

    • Ethan M. Wong · January 25

      Hi Shem,

      They are from At The Front repro HBT trousers! That’s from Spencer himself.

      Like

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